Belt sanders not allowed

I’m currently working on a “quick little project.” It’s a bungalow mailbox I’m building from oak scraps. The board I used for the top was cupped from resawing. So I planed it mostly flat, and decided it didn’t need to be really flat, and planned to hand-sand smooth the remaining bit of cup.

Last Friday I was sanding the boards before glue-up and staining. The oak I used for the top seems to be especially hard, and I was having a hard time getting that to where I wanted it. I’d dug out the coarsest sandpaper I had and was sanding as hard as I could. I had the dust-collector running nearby to pull the dust cloud I was making away from me. When I thought, “Dang, I could use a belt sander for this” I knew it had gone too far.

I’m hoping to never own a belt-sander.

Cutting to the chase, I dug out my card-scrapers. I found one that still had a good bur, and soon I had my boards ready for the next step without any more clouds of dust, just some fine shavings. Even though they make my hands sore, using the scrapers is fun. There’s a bit of skill to finding the angle where the bur grabs, and scrapes a nice shaving. And since my shop is in the basement of my house it makes a lot more sense to do as much of the finishing with planes and scrapers and minimize the amount of fine dust spewed out by sanding.

What’s my point? I’m wondering that myself. I guess it’s, Sanding Bad, Scraping Good. And that, apparently, I have to remind myself of this every six months or so.


About johnjoiner

Computer nerd by day, Dad and woodworker by night. Woodworking blog at
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One Response to Belt sanders not allowed

  1. It will be the most beautiful mailbox EVER.d

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